Sunday, April 29, 2018
MY BEST HAMACHI KAMA AND ARTICHOKE
It was a beautiful Honolulu Saturday, so I decided to go somewhere to enjoy our weather and environment. As best as I could determine, the Big West Conference Women's Beach Volleyball championship tournament on the beach at Waikiki looked enticing. The winner gets the automatic NCAA bid to the national championship next week in Alabama.
Women's beach volleyball is one of the most popular Olympics sports, and mostly, I think, because of the controversial bikini attire. For example, here are 50 photos from the 2012 Olympics.
I caught The Bus into Waikiki to have lunch at one of Morimoto's two restaurants in the new Alohiliani Resort Waikiki Beach, which recently got a $115 million face-lift from the former Pacific Beach Hotel. While they kept the 280,000 gallon Oeanarium, only Morimoto Asia was open, and they didn't serve until 5PM, while Momosan is yet to come.
So I walked down Kalakaua Avenue and met my Blue-bar pigeon. After a short chat, I crossed the street and walked by Eggs'n Things, which I thought was a breakfast spot, but had a long line for lunch.
Then I saw what looked to be a sushi bar, Furusato. I once remember eating at another Furusato located in a hotel across the street from the Honolulu Zoo.
But this one was a tiny thing with a small sushi bar and a few tables I got the best seat in the house and noticed that the place was packed. I ordered a sake flight with a glass of beer. My first course was one ikura sushi, followed by an unagi:
Then came the best Hamachi Kama I've ever had.
The fish, generally between 10-20 pounds, is also known as Yellowtail, is not a tuna, and is known as Kampachi and Kahala in Hawaii. The Kama is the collar, or the portion that connects the body with the head. At one time, this portion was just thrown away. After all, who eats the gills? Now, some of us know that this is the best part of all. Furusato did it just right.
Sure, this restaurant is located on Kalakaua Avenue, where tons of tourists walk by. However, I thought the items were rather pricey. Yet, I was completely satisfied, mainly because the service was excellent and the Hamachi Kama was my best ever. I ended up paying $60 with tax and tip. During my two week trip to Guam and Japan, I never did spend as much for any meal.
Across the street is the statue of Duke Kahanamoku. This would then be the center of Waikiki Beach. However, who knows that this is just one of six beaches: Queen's, Kuhio, Gray's, For DeRussy and Kahanamoku. Then, there's San Souci, but who cares. Waikiki means spouting water, and was once a swamp. A close-up of the Duke, and a bit towards Diamond Head, Prince Kuhio:
I felt like being on one of my Waikiki weekend mini-vacations. Across the street from Prince Kuhio is the Waikiki Marriott. I will stay there on June 9 and 10 for the Pan-Pacific Festival. This is their 39th year, and everything is free. Well, you need to pay for the food and drinks at the Friday night Hoolaulea. There is a two-hour parade Sunday evening.
A few yards further towards Diamond Head was the site of the beach volleyball tournament. I watched the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahines win it all:
On the way home I bought an artichoke to have with Castello Blue Cheese and that Parker-98 dessert wine I mentioned a few days ago. Some of you have never prepared an artichoke. First you boil it, then pick off the outer petals, and have the small portion of flesh pulled off from the stem, dipping it in a sauce of your choice. I usually have heated butter, but, as I had cheese, that was enough dairy for a meal, so I used mayonnaise. I added tomato soup, garlic bread, Belgian Endive, and a Sonoma Chardonnay to go with the Parker-98:
Eating an artichoke takes some skill. You eventually get to these stages:
These thorns are, actually dangerous, so you need to cut them off:
Cutting the piece in half, you can essentially consume everything, but the outer edge of the stem might be too fibrous to swallow. All those photos above were taken with my $86 Sony camera which is so light that I once almost washed it with a shirt.